Is HMRC running down offices to justify closures?

Job-Cuts1HM Revenue and Customs’ latest call for job cuts could be used to justify office closures, we fear.

The department has today launched a voluntary exit scheme aimed at 2,000 staff, including some in face to face offices whose future remains uncertain.

Today’s announcement targets around 1,500 staff in personal taxes and compliance and 480 in debt management.

In an unusual move, staff have been told there has been no formal decision to close any of the 21 affected sites but the department does “not see them featuring in [its] long-term plans”.

Since 2005, 34,000 jobs have gone from HMRC and another 10,000 are planned by 2015 under the government’s spending cuts.

The result is a deepening staffing crisis across the department in response to which we are seeking a staffing and jobs agreement to tackle excessive workloads.

More resources needed

With tax evasion depriving our economy of £70 billion a year, and another £50 billion lost through avoidance and non-collection, we believe the department needs more resources.

The £77 million the government has pledged for the next two years and a previous “re-investment” of £900 million are dwarfed by the £3 billion in cuts to HMRC’s budget announced in the spending review in October 2010.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “When more than £120 billion is slipping through HMRC’s fingers every year, it makes absolutely no sense to cut resources even further.

“The government should be investing in the department that collects the taxes that fund all our other vital public services.”

Our advice to those affected is to not make any hasty decisions and wait for union meetings on their site.

Don’t help the department do more work with less jobs and justify shedding jobs – support the overtime ban!

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